March 14, 2013 10:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Walking Dead's' Glen Mazzara Inks Overall Deal With Fox Television Studios
Departing Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara is prepping his return.
Nearly three months after departing AMC's zombie drama, Mazzara has inked an overall deal with Fox Television Studios, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Mazzara, under his newly launched banner, will develop a variety of cable projects for the studio.
The deal reunites him with the studio behind The Shield, where he worked alongside Shawn Ryan as a writer and executive producer.
"The Shield was the show that really put FTVS on the map, and Glen was a huge part of that show's success. Years later, Glen has become a lauded and expert showrunner, and after his extraordinary stint on The Walking Dead, we are proud to bring Glen back home," FTVS president David Madden said. "Like all television studios, we're writer-oriented, but since we're leaner than most, the people we're in business with need to possess a profound level of fierceness and obsession, and Glen eminently qualifies. Closing this deal is a testament to our admiration for Glen, who is already brewing a concoction of ideas and stories that we are eager to serve to the world."
Mazzara first joined Walking Dead during season one, contributing freelance scripts. He took over showrunning duties from Frank Darabont -- who adapted Robert Kirkman's comic series -- midway through the zombie drama's second season. His accelerated storytelling approach earned both critical praise and record-breaking ratings. To date, Walking Dead ranks as the No. 1 show across cable and broadcast in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic, averaging more than 11 million total viewers per episode on Sundays.
"I've had a long history with Fox Television Studios, and it feels good to set up shop at a studio that I respect and trust, especially with David leading the charge," Mazzara said. "FTVS is giving me the opportunity to develop my own projects and to shepherd other writers on their own shows. This is where I want to be, and I couldn't ask for a better partner as I take the next step in my career."
Mazzara -- who earned a WGA Award for his work on the freshman season and whose résumé also includes Crash and Damian Lewis starrer Life -- told THR in February that he was already working on new projects. "I've got a lot on my plate and already have deadlines. I'm excited about that stuff. As for different genres, it will be surprising," he said at the time. "I did the horror and sci-fi genre; that's been new to me on The Walking Dead. I do have a lot of material in that space, and I'm excited about a lot of stuff that's coming up."
The writer-producer exited Walking Dead as showrunner in December, citing creative differences. Mazzara indicated at a January conference that he didn't have the authority that his role as showrunner role would imply. "When you’re the creator, you can say, 'This is what the show is,' " he said at NATPE. "I didn’t create the show. I didn’t create the comic book, so I’m just glad I was able to contribute."
Mazzara is repped by CAA.